Story of Science Fiction – James Cameron

James Cameron's Story of Science Fiction

A world shaped by Sci-Fi Legends: James Cameron and Steven Spielberg

The 2018 AMC mini-series, James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction, is an exploration into the world of science fiction and film making. Through interviews and dialog, Cameron discusses the genre’s evolution with some of the greatest story tellers of a generation. 

During this episode of the Story of Science Fiction, James Cameron sits with the incomparable Stephen Spielberg.

With a smile and genuine admiration, Cameron quickly highlights Spielberg’s inarguable influence on not just science fiction but the art of film making

Influences

These two entertainment legends have a lot in common. 

During this intimate interview on the “Story of Science Fiction”, both men revealed their daily influences and childhood traumas, detailing how those life’s events shaped their storytelling abilities and their view of the world.

James Cameron and Steven Spielberg discuss their experience of watching “2001: a space odyssey” for the first time. Cameron admits to seeing the film “18 times at the movie theater in the first two years after release.” Several anecdotes from both men, including Cameron’s recounting of “a movie patron’s approach to the screen calling for God,” reinforce the generational significant of “2001: a space odyssey.”

Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey influenced both Cameron and Spielberg and remains the quintessential science fiction movie.

Calling the movie an “extraordinary breakthrough for the [science fiction] genre,” Spielberg tells his experience working on the film early in his career, calling it “mind-blowing.” He related the desire of both Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke to craft an authentic, technology-driven story of the possibilities of computers, both good and evil. Cameron and Spielberg, evoking the beliefs of Elon Musk and Dr. Stephan Hawkins, that World War III will most likely be computer driven, discuss the inevitability of AI advancing to a HAL 9000 like state and, as Spielberg states, “checkmating us right out of existence.”

Story of Science Fiction or Science Fact?

Spielberg acknowledged what most sci-fi fans accept as fact.

Science fiction is not about the future but about current events.

Science Fiction tells stories that revolve around fear and hope. These pivotal events seem destined to change the course of humanity. The genre highlighted the fear of nuclear destruction in the 40s and 50s, space exploration and the moon landing in the 60s, the AI apocalypse, climatological collapse, and the quest for Mars for today’s generation.

Science fiction will always be a precursor to science fact.

But, science fiction is not just about technology, clean architecture, and talking mirrors and miniaturized computers. Science Fiction is the perfect genre to discuss social issues, government policy, ethics, and the evolution of the human race. It is up to geniuses like Spielberg, Cameron, Clarke, Roddenberry, Bradbury, Musk, Hawking, and countless others to remind us who we are and if we are not careful what we, as the human race, will lose.

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